JIS News

Story Highlights

  • The JCF and the SDC have signed a MoU formalising an initiative under which 40 communities have had the opportunity to assess the level of service delivered by the police.
  • The partnership began in June 2013, and will continue for another 11 months.
  • The assessment process involved some communities in Kingston and St. Andrew, St. Catherine, and St. James, using a score card method.

The Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) and the Social Development Commission (SDC) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) formalising an initiative under which 40 communities have had the opportunity to assess the level of service delivered by the police.

The partnership began in June 2013, and will continue for another 11 months.

The assessment process involved some communities in Kingston and St. Andrew, St. Catherine, and St. James, using a score card method, along with three focus group discussions.

The performance of the police was rated by the citizens, while the police were required to rate their own performance, followed by an interface between both parties to discuss the scores. The group also discussed and document solutions.

Speaking at the signing on Wednesday, May 14 at the Police Officers’ Club, in Kingston, Deputy Commissioner of Police, Glenmore Hines, noted that the JCF and the SDC continue to seek to make positive changes in the community. “We are committed to the process, we are grateful to the partner agencies,” he assured.

Adding that the JCF is at a “mature” level, where openness is part of its operation, he told his audience that “we are indebted to the SDC, and I pledge my organisation to the score card, and will give it the high level support that it requires to succeed. To the people, we will give a modern police force,” Mr. Hines said.

Meanwhile, Executive Director at the SDC, Dr. Dwayne Vernon, commended community policing. He said the MoU is “about building communities, it is about building Jamaica”.

The SDC head emphasised that the residents in the areas have a crucial role to make the process work, telling the group, which included leaders of the targeted communities, “you are at the forefront of ensuring that there is culture change where the police are seen as friends, and partners in development of communities, and not just persons coming in to enforce.”

Other partners involved in the programme are the Planning Institute of Jamaica (PIOJ), and the Ministry of National Security.

United Kingdom Department for International Development representative in Jamaica, Dr. Daniel Arghiros, also endorsed the programme.

An excerpt from the MoU states that it “represents a detailed framework for a partnership aimed at ensuring the optimum contribution to community development by the investments provided by the JCF and all efforts will be made by all Parties to the achievement of this aim”.